Recognizing dysregulation in the workplace

The Expert Talk: Recognizing dysregulation in the workplace

Recognizing dysregulation in the workplace, and understanding how to support them

a blog post by Kimberly Van Ryn

I hope you had some regulated moments this week and did some exploring into your nervous system. Did you notice your own fluctuating states? Did you notice the fluctuating states of others? Keep your awareness open as you continue to develop your trauma-informed leadership skills.

In this final “science lesson”, we’re going to discuss the three states of the nervous system: flow state (regulated), hyper-aroused (dysregulated) and collapsed (dysregulated) with some different words in a concrete model. (Haven’t read the first two parts yet? Find them here, and here)

But first, I need to tell you a story about a duck.

A few weeks ago, my partner and I had the great pleasure of being able to “farm-sit” for my cousin on her small hobby farm. On day five of our stay my partner rescued a baby duckling from the pond with what appeared to be a broken leg. We got it safe and warm, started calling friends who had knowledge and skills in duck rehabilitation. The little gal survived and after a brief stay with us in town and is now back at the farm being a duck.

The duck had received a life-threatening injury and was left to the elements. After we brought her inside, she SHOOK for about three days. Her body vibrated. Often in the human world we would describe this as “shock” or “coming out of shock” when the nervous system receives an overwhelming scare and loss of control (the true definition of trauma).

What was profound about this situation is that I got to watch in detail a process that happens in the natural world with creatures who have experienced devastating trauma.